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Spengler

The Dead’s Envy for the Living

November 26th, 2013 - 4:24 am
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Iran has no common border with Israel. No Iranian soldier has killed an Israeli soldier in combat since the founding of the Jewish State. Yet hatred and fear of the Jews is a palpable presence in the minds of Iran’s rulers. Some days the mullahs make the Nazis look rational by comparison. I cited a lecture given by an advisor to Iran’s culture minister insisting that the cartoon “Tom and Jerry” was part of a plot by Jewish studio executives in Hollywood to rehabilitate the image of Jews.

Iran’s theocrats hate and fear the Jews for the same reason that Hitler did. The “Master Race” delusion of the Nazis twisted the Chosenness of Israel into a doctrine of racial election; for the “Master Race” to be secure in its dominion, the original “paragon and exemplar of a nation” (Rosenzweig) had to be exterminated. Islam is by construction a supercessionist religion. It claims that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures perverted the original prophecy of Islam, and that Mohammed restored the true religion through the Koran. Mohammed is the “seal of the prophets,” the final and definitive exponent of God’s word, replacing the falsified version of Christians and Jews.

Muslims may believe this and peaceably await the day when its competitor religions will crumble and the whole world will acknowledge its prophet, just as Jews pray thrice daily for the Messianic era when all the world will acknowledge one God by one name. But it is difficult for Iran to be patient when its self-conceived guardians of God’s message are staring into an inescapable abyss at the horizon of a single generation.  This is a culture inherently incapable of reflection on its own deficiencies, one that has nourished itself for 1,200 years on morbid rancor against the Sunni Muslim majority and more recently against the West. Patience in this case is a poison.

Israel thus faces a new Hitler and the threat of a new Holocaust. There is no way to portray the situation in a less alarming light. That is one parallel to 1938; another is the response of the world’s powers to the emergence of this monster.

To the declining nations of Western Europe, Israel’s national self-assertion is a moral outrage. Since St. Isidore of Seville persuaded the Visigoth kings of Spain to adopt Christianity with the promise that they would become the leaders of a chosen nation in emulation of King David, the national consciousness of the European nations has taken the form of national election. I argued in a 2008 essay for the religious monthly First Things:

As Franz Rosenzweig observed, once the Gentile nations embraced Christianity, they abandoned their ancient fatalism regarding the inevitable extinction of their tribe. It is the God of Israel who first offers ­eternal life to humankind, and Christianity extended Israel’s promise to all. But the nations that adhered to Christendom as tribes rather than as individuals never forswore their love for their own ethnicity. On the ­contrary, they longed for eternal life in their own ­Gentile skin rather than in the Kingdom of God promised by Jesus Christ. After Christianity taught them the election of Israel, the Gentiles coveted election for themselves and desired their own people to be the chosen people. That set ethnocentric nationalism in conflict both with the Jews—the descendents of Abraham in the flesh—and with the Church, which holds itself to be the new People of God.

As Rosenzweig put it, “Precisely through Christianity the idea of Election has gone out amongst the individual nations, and along with it a concomitant claim upon eternity. It is not that the case that such a claim upon eternity conditioned the entire life of these peoples; one hardly can speak of this. The idea of Election, upon which such a claim [upon eternity] uniquely can be based, becomes conscious for the peoples only in certain exalted moments, and in any case is more of a festive costume than their workaday dress. . . . Still, there sleeps upon the foundation of one’s love for one’s own people the presentiment that someday in the distant future it no longer will be, and this gives this love a sweetly painful gravity.”

The European elite cannot distinguish its own past parody of Israel’s election from the self-understanding of the Jewish people as a blessing to all nations by virtue of its unique national life. Israeli nationalism only brings to mind Europe’s failed nationalisms and their horrendous denouement in the world wars of the past century. Europe is enervated, exhausted by past wars, aging, hedonistic and cynical. It is not surprising that the nations of Europe once again would avert their eyes to the threat of another Holocaust.

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Top Rated Comments   
David,

Wonderful article, but there is a larger story right now I believe.

Please enjoy this very special occasion of Chanukah falling on Thanksgiving...
Nothing else I can think of could so symbolically represents two cultures, ever intertwined on the side of “Light” and “Thanks”, in the face of so much Darkness and Envy.

It is a moment I hope all here and in Israel will savor, and remember forever!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There will never be another Holocaust for the Jews. The miraculous re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty was not solely through the hand of Man. Israel today is a superpower in every way. Militarily, economically, and spiritually.
We have been a nuclear nation since 1955. We have had the bomb since 1961. No nation in the world has greater facility in this area. The Iranian regime exists today only because we are loathe to use the technology we have. However, if it becomes a matter of life or death it is the Iranians who will be left without a nation.
Obama, the self-absorbed pimp, wants only to delay the inevitable. Grasping at straws to pretend victory once again. Thinking no further than re-electing his cronies and so desperate for a victory to trumpet even a sham one will do. He sees no further than the next election cycle. After that the worlds problems belong to next President.
We in Israel appreciate the support of the many who wish us well and stand beside us. We are here to stay.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
David,

This was an excellent article. Combined with Caroline Glick's article today, it lays out the reasons we have to be very, very scared. You correctly identify that no matter what evidence Israel presents, Obama's heart will not be moved. That is something that some of us - thanks to your 2008 article - have understood for a long, long time. The shame that I see is when Democratic Senators say nothing. The Schumer's and Durbin's of the world are absolutely useless and they are moral cowards. Many of the Republicans (outside of Cruz, Palin, Santorum and Bachmann) are just stupid. And AIPAC - Obama played them like fools over the Syria episode and has made them, along with other American Jews, who correctly understand Obama's hostility, appear to be warmongers acting against American interests. This is long term damage that Obama is causing to American Jews. Meanwhile it is Obama who is actively opposed to American interests: He has sided with a totalitarian, supremacist enemy of the U.S., and has lost of course not just American ally Israel, but the Sunni Arab allies too. Also, Obama, the anti-nuclear weapons guy, has made it much more likely that there will be an arms race in the Middle East. But then, Obama wasn't really against nuclear weapons per se. He was against the U.S. and Israel having advantages over the Muslim Street based on this nuclear weapons advantage.

I pray that Bibi can do something about this. While Bibi has never really acted upon his great words, perhaps he has it in him to defy the American Pharaoh. Perhaps.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (73)
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I often think of the experimental work of Dr. Calhoun and his rats. He found in the 1960s that colonies of rats, if enclosed and provided infinate food, shelter, etc., would self regulate their population, even if there was no physical contraint except space for doing so. Unfortunately the way they regulated their population was...pretty awful. Populations fell into the behavioral sink - males groomed excessively, or faught needlessly. Females failed to give birth, and when they did, treated their young poorly. Stress, alienation, hostility, sexual perversion, parental incompetence, and rabid violence become the norm. Sound familiar?

Islam will die if we PREVENT their conquest of new territory. They must conquer to survive. Containment will destroy them - we will never have to attack them if we behave wisely. Unfortunately we too are falling into the behavioral sink. The end of history is also the end of us. The only question is which survives - Isalm or the west. We started failing first, but they are failing faster.

Calhoun himself saw the fate of the population of mice as a metaphor for the potential fate of man. He characterized the social breakdown as a “spiritual death”, with reference to bodily death as the “second death” mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation 2:11.

Spirtual uplift can forstall the spiritual death, for it provides us with the infinate space of heaven to expand into. Alternately we need a space program that is vigorous and focused on colinization, not robtoics.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Spengler,

Can you write an article with a US perspective on the lessons/advice contained in this article ? [http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=378067&sn=Detail&pid=71616]

I love reading your work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The demography-based insight is a profound one. I believe that there is something especially dangerous in Shiite Islam, by the combination of circumstances that saw Persia become Muslim and its Islam intertwined with the Shia rebellion against the Sunni. While many claim that Iranians are not really a Muslim people, and only wait for the moment to throw off Islam, the evidence says otherwise. That their brand of Islam is interwoven with competition with the Arabs - most of whom are Sunni - makes it all the more combustible. It can not be ignored that the US, which essentially had war declared on it by Khomeini 15 or so years before anyone heard of of OBL, has adopted a haphazard policy towards revolutionary Iran ever since. It may be ironic that the invasion/liberation of Iraq resulted in strengthening the regime in Tehran, but it is also a fact. We see in Khamenei's statements, particularly against Jews and Israel, after this junky agreement, that they are merely emboldened.

The agreement is terrible. It leaves them the basis for the bomb, it leaves them a huge number of centrifuges. Now they will be soaked with money - much of which they will use to finish the program. And, almost certainly, they will be importing critical materials with that money. Obama and Kerry have made war a certainty.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My bible study is reading the book of judges. remarkably the pattern there looks very muc like the tytler cycle Here is the cycle
Bondage
Spiritual Faith
Courage
Liberty
Abundance
Selfishness
Complacency
Apathy
Dependence
Then starting over with Bondage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler
http://www.commonsensegovernment.com/article-03-14-09.html

The period of judges ended with the election of saul against the advice of the prophet samuel. his words of caution against kings is worth re reading.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Chamberlain and Obama were actually in two different situations:

Chamberlain was on the losing end. While he was definitely a fool for trying to negotiate with Hitler, Britain was basically on the losing edge of the delegations between Germany and the UK, outranking them in pretty much everything (armaments, land, negotiations, you name it).

Obama and us in America, however, outclass the Iranians technologically and logistics/supplies wise. His actions are closer to trying to bring us and Israel down. I'm not sure he cares all that much for Islam. After all, he seems to take after his birth father more and is closer to a Marxist, willing to use Muslims if it ensures the spread of Marxist revolution, but otherwise would kill them solely for their religion. Spreading atheism. We must wipe out any and all Marxists, Rousseauists, Leninists, Stalinists, Trotskyists, Maoists, Mihnists, Cheists, and any form of atheistic beliefs if Christianity and Judaism is to survive. The Atheists wanted to have a fight to the death on us since the Enlightenment and kill us Christians and Jewish people off? Well, they're going to get a fight all right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Wipe Out"? I dunno. That is an admission you have nothing to offer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
More an admission that you've got something truly creepy to offer. I'm a thoroughgoing theist myself, but haven't any use for "allies" like the above.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At this point, considering how we've got nearly the entire population supporting the legalization of Gay Marriage despite it being against God's laws (HuffPo's stats and other news outlets, not to mention all but three people (those three people including myself) in my "Family" class (which I only took because it was one of the few classes available for the Fall Semester for my American Studies degree), and at least one of my relatives supporting Gay Marriage despite her being a Christian herself), the fact that our mediums are promoting immorality thanks to "freedom of speech and the press", the education system basically teaching things like how all we Christians were monsters, and how all Americans were bad during Vietnam, or how most of Europe, possibly here in America, are losing their Christianity every day due to secularization, even after the fall of the USSR, and worse, Communism seems to actually be increasing, and religion is falling, what exactly am I supposed to do? Especially when Jesus's statement that we should turn the other cheek, or if we go by example, his literally surrendering himself and being abused and killed out of love for humanity (his dying on the Cross) has resulted in several of us being killed wholesale. Don't believe me? Just look at how many Christians were massacred during the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, the Korean Revolution, the Vietnam War/Revolution, the Cambodian Revolution, within the USSR, and in various South American revolutions. They are still getting a lot of popular support. Heck, one of my history professors was unapologetically supportive of the French Revolution, and has proven himself to be quite hateful of Catholics. Even worse, we've got "Christian Socialists" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) like Cornel West who are actively sabotaging Christianity from within. Heck, Antonio Gramsci even laid out the groundwork for infiltrating the Church, so no, I can't even trust conversions anymore. Yes, I'm beginning to sound like an absolute nut, but at this point, I'm not even sure if it matters anymore. If Jesus's teachings did not save us from being massacred at high percentages by the Soviets, the Jacobins, the Nazis (yes, they massacred Christians as well), and various Communists/atheists of all stripes, how exactly is surrendering and allowing ourselves to be killed going to even ensure our survival.
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
>>"Obama’s commitment to rapprochement with Iran arises from deep personal identification with the supposed victims of imperialism."

And hatred of the Jews. Let's not over think this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
there is a manor difference between hitler and the iranians: there is a State of Israel now, which there was not at the time of Hitler. Israel has an air force and good weapons and good information. i do not know why it did not attack Iran soon after it was discovered that it is working on developing nuclear weapons. they missed a great opportunity, even though the world would have screamed bloody murder.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This video says it all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndFu-UU2V2g

A few other observations:
1) The article assumes that what is occurring to day in Iran will continue. In all likelihood it will get or get worse until the current government falls. That may take another 50 years.
2) Populations sky rocketed in the 20th century because of improved high care amount populations that were accustomed to breeding their farm labor. Now that children are seen as a monetary burden people will stop having them. There is no need to search for moral issues to explain the population drop.
3) My guess is that eventually populations will reach a static level without significant loss or gain as the excess produced by an agricultural societies mindset adjust to new economic realities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod are the Josephus's of our time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
David,

Wonderful article, but there is a larger story right now I believe.

Please enjoy this very special occasion of Chanukah falling on Thanksgiving...
Nothing else I can think of could so symbolically represents two cultures, ever intertwined on the side of “Light” and “Thanks”, in the face of so much Darkness and Envy.

It is a moment I hope all here and in Israel will savor, and remember forever!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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